In order to freely participate in the “Outside” world, Yuki must square with his past trauma.

But first, student council shenanigans!

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Okay, so there is actually some more serious goings on in the form of Machi.  She claimed she was home sick for a few days after she wrecked the student council office.

Kimi: But Kimi was sure she’d just run away to avoid taking responsibility for trashing the student council office!

Yuki: Kimi, Kimi, Kimi!

Naohito: No, this is an issue that should be addressed! Kuragi, why would you do that!?

Machi: I’m terribly sorry for causing so much trouble. I won’t do it again. I’ll never do it again. I promise.

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Yuki: You say you “Won’t do it again”, but doesn’t saying that only put you under more pressure? “I’ll never do it again” doesn’t solve the problem, does it? Both sides need to understand why you do things like that.

He doesn’t get the chance to probe Machi any further (not that she would have really opened up in front of everyone), and he suddenly remembers he has a class discussion to attend to.

The class is supposed to put on a Cinderella play for the annual cultural festival, and Yuki recused himself from the role of Prince Charming (claiming he was too busy with student council and that the role just wouldn’t suit him).  This throws the whole casting situation up in the air (the roles are decided by vote), and what lands is guaranteed to be amusing: Yuki’s the fairy godmother, Minami’s the stepmother, Tohru’s the stepsister (because the Yuki fangirls ganged up on her), Kyo is the Prince (because of course he’s the second hottest guy, even if he’s not always charming), and Hana-chan is Cinderella.  I assume every girl just voted for herself and Saki won because she got votes from Arisa and Tohru.

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But of course Kyo is the only one who’s really unhappy with his part.

Tohru: I think it’s great that you’re playing the Prince. Master-san will be so pleased!

Kyo: Don’t tell him! Don’t you dare tell him!

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They have the sense to appeal to Tohru to help resign Kyo to his fate, but as Yuki heads back to student council, Tohru offers him a little encouragement.

Tohru: Um, don’t work too…Please, do your best.

Then Yuki gets himself locked in a dark closet.

This is so lame. If I were really like a prince, I’m sure I wouldn’t get myself locked in a room.

He knocks over a can of black paint (don’t ask me how he can tell that it’s black in the dark), and it forcibly reminds him of Akito – specifically, that conversation we never heard at the summer house.

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Akito: Yuki. How pathetic. You, trying to live a positive life…it hurts to watch. It really does. I can tell, though. I know what you want, what you’re looking for in Tohru Honda…

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Yuki starts to feel sick, but Machi breaks down the door and saves the day.

Yuki: Machi, thank you.

Machi: I thought maybe you wouldn’t like being helpless and alone.

He extended compassion and understanding to Machi, and now she seems to extend it to him.

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Manabe takes Yuki outside, and Yuki admits that it was probably the memories more than the paint fumes that made him sick.  Manabe invites him to talk about it, and Yuki actually takes him up on the offer.  It might seem strange that Yuki would talk about his past with someone like Manabe who knows absolutely nothing about his situation, but in my experience it’s surprisingly helpful to tell your story to a (relatively) disinterested third party.  If nothing else, it forces you to frame your past in a new and sensible manner so that it can be coherent to someone else, and on top of getting a fresh perspective from the other person, it makes you look at the events in a different way.

Yuki: I’ve never told anyone this before. I’ve never even told the person in question…It’s just too pathetic. Pitiful, really.

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I was looking for a “mother” in her.

We’ll get an explanation…next time.

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